What makes a mother? Who are mothers? Is a mother the person who carries a child for nine months, giving birth and raising the child as their own? Or are mother’s adoptive parents, foster carers, custodians, caregivers, protectors, guardians and carers of a child?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary ‘mother’ describes ‘a female parent; maternal tenderness or affection’. The definition doesn’t describe a mother as needing a biological link with a child. Instead, the word is used as a verb (a doing word); the word ‘mother’ encompasses a way of living and caring, it embodies the qualities and characteristic of a mother without the limitations of a direct link.
For some people, the description of ‘mother’ can become complicated and has multiple experiences and feelings attached to its meaning and relationship. During the twentieth century in Australia, it is estimated that 500,000 children grew up in institutions (Government homes, missions, children’s homes and boarding schools). These children did not experience what many would consider the traditional family household (nuclear family). Sadly, many of these children typically grew up in neglectful and sometimes abusive conditions, where they had no access to a loving caregiver, a person who they could confide in and trust. For these children, their biological mother was not their primary caregiver, and as a result the experience of not having a mother was a different and sometimes traumatic experience.
We can all acknowledge the importance of having a maternal figure in our life. For many people, being a mother or having a mother does not require a biological link or even being female to promote love, affection, caring and bonding. A mother’s love via care-giving, foster and adoption is no less important or less valued then others.
Mother’s Day is a day to appreciate mothers by all definitions, and acknowledge their value, importance and care they give. This Mothers Day, find the person who encompasses the meaning of being a mother to you, the person who plays a significant role in you life and show them how important they are to you.
Mother’s Day can be a challenging time for people affected by adoption. Choosing an appropriate card can be fraught with conflicting emotions. Jigsaw Queensland has an adoption-appropriate Mother’s Day Card for sale. This card has been developed by people affected by adoption. It is available for purchase in Australia only.
If you are affected by this and would like to speak to someone about the issues which impact you, please call us on (08) 8923 4999.